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BBB Release: UNCLAIMED PROPERTY: Find Missing Money For Free

Unclaimed Property Notification May Be Real, But Not >From The Best Resource

Anchorage, Alaska – A­ug. 17, 2010 – "Unclaimed property" isn't a myth. Some consumers and businesses discover they have money or assets to claim when approached by individuals promising to help locate funds—for a fee. But Better Business Bureau advises that unclaimed property can be attained without help—for free.

What is unclaimed property? Assets owed to a consumer or business by a company or other professional entity that is unable to reach the owner or when an unreachable owner's account is inactive for a specific period of time. Common assets include: bank accounts, stocks, un-cashed dividends or payroll checks, refunds, traveler's checks, trust distributions, insurance payments, life insurance policies, annuities, certificates of deposit, customer overpayments, utility security deposits, mineral royalty payments, safe deposit box contents, and in some states, unredeemed money orders or gift certificates. The money is held by the state unclaimed property division until the owner or heir makes a claim.

Be aware: Some consumers or businesses receive mail, e-mail or phone notification that they have unclaimed funds. Sometimes correspondence appears official or from the government, when it's really coming from a third party. A person claiming to be a claims processor, professional finder or fee finder may offer to help retrieve funds in exchange for a flat advance fee or percentage of the recovered property.

"An unclaimed property notice could mean there is real money you don't know about waiting for you," said Robert W.G. Andrew, CEO of BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington. "But it doesn't mean the source sending you notification is official or the best method for retrieving funds."

Free resources: Remember, there is no need to pay or use a third party to receive unclaimed property. Consumers and businesses can search for unclaimed property in 42 states at www.missingmoney.com and find government resources for states not participating in the database.

Ø Alaska: Search for and claim unclaimed property through www.missingmoney.com. Check out the Unclaimed Property Program within the Alaska Department of Revenue Treasury Division for more information.

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About your BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington: Better Business Bureau is a neutral not-for-profit organization with the mission to advance marketplace trust. BBB is supported by BBB Accredited Businesses and provides ethical business standards, BBB Reliability Reports, Charity Review Reports, complaint handling, marketplace events and tips. For more information, contact BBB or visit www.bbb.org.

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